Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Messages, Day 12

"Nancy Almand, Died 1876"

At least, I think that's what it says. I came upon the Almand family cemetery a couple of years ago when I was looking for Crazy Patty's, a discount place in Conyers, Georgia. The Almand family appears to have been reasonably well-off; most of the markers were professionally made.

Yet in the middle of the cemetery is one large, crooked stone for Nancy Almand. The stone itself appears to have been hand hewn, as is the inscription. This is curious, because Nancy was the matriarch of the family -- a "lady of note." What's more, while the gravestone says she died in 1876, genealogical information on the 'Net shows her as having died in 1875. So this gravestone raises some intriguing questions.

More than anything, though, I have never been able to get out of my mind the image of that lone person -- a lover? A son or daughter? -- carving those letters one by one, bit by bit, hour after hour after hour. In the end, he must have had enough, because he only scratched the year of death into the stone.

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